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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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Syria 43, U.s. 37, Us 33, Iraq 21, United States 19, America 18, Amman 14, Jordan 12, Belcher 10, Bashar Al Assad 10, Assad 9, Washington 8, Cia 7, Obama 7, Cambridge 7, Clinton 7, Aleppo 7, Jovan Belcher 6, London 5, Dana 4,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    December 3, 2012
    1:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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they weren't planned to announce this at this point. they certainly wanted to wait until they had reached 12 weeks. but they had been forced into an announcement. the news is now out. prince charles and the queen didn't even know until today that she was pregnant. they tried to keep it quiet but they couldn't because of this. she's in the hospital. she's resting, getting nutrients and being treated for hydration. she's in the best hands. >> max foster now on the royal baby beat for the next six months, max, thank you very much. thank you for being with me. i'm brooke baldwin. to wolf blitzer we go. hey, wolf. brooke, thanks very much. happening now, we have new details just coming in of a brand-new offer from house republicans to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. also president obama's getting ready to speak this hour about an urgent national security issue. u.s.-led efforts to try to track down and eliminate loose nuclear weapons. that's coming up. also, frightening now revelations about an al qaeda plot for a three-part terror
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attack on the united states embassy in iman, jordan. i'll ask the country's foreign minister for details. he's standing by live. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin this afternoon with brand-new republican offers to try to save the $2.2 trillion and avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. the across-the-board spending cuts and sharp tax increases that hit in just 29 days. let's get straight to our senior congressional correspondent dana bash. she's watching what's going on. dana, the tax rates, first of all, let's get to a major sticking point right now. there's been a counterproposal from house republicans to the white house. you have details. >> reporter: that's right. let's start exactly where you
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just began on those tax rates because that has become the big divide between the two sides. the answer is the house republicans are not budging. they still want to continue the bush era tax rates at all income levels. let's get specific. first of all, the counterproposal, they say they would get about $800 billion in savings from what they call tax reform, from deductions and closing loopholes, things like that. but the bush era tax rates, all of them would remain, even for the wealthiest. to show you the difference, compared to the white house offer that they got last week, $1.6 trillion in savings when it comes to tax revenue. but much of that came from raising tax rates for the wealthiest americans, which of course is what president obama campaigned on. so those are the big differences right now. but this certainly is important, wolf, because republicans were saying that they're not even sure that this ball was in their court. clearly they realized it was.
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so the talks -- there is stalemate no more, put it that way. >> on this key issue of marginal tax rates for the wealthy, the republican offer is keep the tax rates exactly as they are right now, 35% for that 2% wealthiest families making more than $250,000. the obama proposal is raise that rate to 39.6% where it was during the clinton administration. what else is in this new gop proposal? >> reporter: let's show you some of the savings when it comes to government spending. first of all, they put about $600 billion in what the republicans are calling health savings. we understand -- we don't have details. we understand much of that comes from medicare, things that we've heard from republicans over and over like raising the eligibility age, means testing, things like that. so then we have about $600 billion in essentially spending cuts, half from mandatory spending, half from discretionary spending.
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this is the other very interesting thing that's new. $200 billion from revising the consumer price index. that sounds very technical. but it has very real world consequences because it very much could affect the money, the checks that social security recipients in particular get every single month because it effectively changes inflation so it changes the formula from what they would get. >> significant differences between the white house proposal on this part of the equation as well as on the tax equation. the politics behind this latest republican counterproposal, are they just going through the motions of having their opening bargaining positions knowing that both sides are going to have to make concessions. >> reporter: the answer to that is yes. everybody knows that everybody is going to have to make concessions. but what republicans, in fact the speaker himself, just to give you a little bit of color of how this went down. we were called into a meeting, reporters all over capitol hill, called into a meeting with republican aides to discuss
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this. and the speaker himself came into the meeting and he said that he believed this is a credible plan that deserves serious consideration by the white house. but he also made the point to underscore that the house republicans could have just given back the ryan budget, for example, something that was a complete non-starter. they decided politically to go a different road rand to put forward this proposal this they say was originally put forward by a democrat, erskine bowles. he gave testimony in november of 2011, last year, which effectively outlined what republicans put forward. it was politically a very interesting decision for them to do this. it was in the words of one republican staffer something that all sides, quote, unquote, detest. so clearly they are saying that they believe everybody's going to have to give concessions. going back to where we started, that fundamental divide over those tax rates, that is still very, very wide. >> two sensitive issues in the
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original white house proposal, they wanted to raise the debt ceiling right now. what does this gop proposal say about that? >> reporter: not that chance. that was one of those conditions that didn't pass the laugh test. the republicans absolutely want that to remain in congress' court. they don't want the president to have that kind of authority. >> what about the $50 billion the white house wants in additional stimulus spending? >> reporter: no new spending. >> the sides very far apart right now. dana, thanks very much. during an unusual question-and-answer session on twitter this afternoon, the president was asked why he opposes keeping tax rates the same for everyone but taking away some of the tax deductions used by the top 2% of wage earners. the president answered, not enough revenue unless you end charitable deductions, et cetera, less rooempb equals more cuts in education, et cetera. i'm joined by gloria borger now.
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>> how about that et cetera? >> you like the et cetera. they got two very different proposals on the table right now. >> they're speaking past each other. they seem to be really living in different universes or one on mars, one on venus, whatever you want to call it. look, it's very clear. one of the republicans want more entitlement cuts up front. and the democrats want these tax increases on the wealthy up front. the irony here to me watching this is in the long term, the second part of this, everybody seems to know what needs to be done. they know you've got to fix entitlement spending. they know you've got to reform the tax code to make it simpler and to make it fairer. the big problem they've got is how you get from here to there. and right now, in order to get over this hump, they sort of are
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in the position of putting everything out there on the table and so we now know what the base of each party wants and would applaud. and now they've got to go behind closed doors and figure how they get past january and how they avoid this fiscal cliff, not only the spending cuts and tax increases but spending cuts particularly in defense. they don't want that. >> explain why what they agree on -- namely that the middle class, 98% of all taxpayers, that their taxes will stay the same, they will not go up. if everyone agrees at least on that, the president says, go ahead and pass that. why not just eliminate the 98% who won't have any changes, those making under $250,000? why not allow that to go forward? why are the republicans resisting on that. >> it could wind up there, wolf. but if the republicans lose that, they believe they kind of lose the leverage that they have. if they sort of give on that, then where's their leverage with
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the white house? so i think that in the end, wolf, if i had to bet -- and i don't like to bet on these things because they always disappoint -- but i would have to say that the one thing they are all likely to do at some point is to make sure the taxes do not go up on the middle class. but in order to do that, republicans want to get some concessions for that. it seems very easy to do that. democrats have done it in the past. and nancy pelosi, the house speaker, wants to do it again. but republicans want to wait and see what they can get. >> they have an obligation, lawmakers, democrats, republicans, the president, to resolve this before december 31st, not kick it down the road. >> the big problem is going to get kicked down the road. you can't reform the tax code and reform all entitlements in three weeks. they're not going to do that. but they do have an obligation -- and i think even they understand that. their approval rating is, what, low double digits right now? this is a leadership issue for
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the president of the united states. it's also a leadership issue particularly for the speaker of the house and house republicans and that the public in our polls overwhelmingly believed they're not going to behave like responsible adults and they action have something they need to show to the american public and this is not the way the american public wants to see its government operate. they've seen it work like this too much in the past. we just went through the debt ceiling in 2011. they don't like seeing congress and the president be crisis-activated institutions. >> this should not have been a crisis. they agreed on this deadline a year and a half ago. they had well more than a year to resolve this. >> and by the way, this is a crisis they created. >> yeah. >> for themselves. >> they knew this cliff was coming. they had a year and a half to deal with it, not three weeks. they wasted a year and a half basically just to get to this crazy moment. >> exactly. they effectively said, we're going to put ourselves up against a wall because we know
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when we're up against the wall, it's the only time we can get something done. >> a sick way of running a government. no doubt about that. thank you. awaiting the start of an important speech by the president of the united states. we'll be talked the u.s.-led effort to locate secure nuclear chemical weapons. these are live pictures from the national defense university right here in washington, d.c. we'll go there live. [ male announcer ] red lobster's crabfest ends soon. hurry in and try five succulent entrees, like our tender snow crab paired with savory garlic shrimp. just $12.99. come into red lobster and sea food differently. and introducing 7 lunch choices for just $7.99. [ female announcer ] holiday cookies are a big job. everything has to be just right. perfection is in the details. ♪ get to holiday fun faster with pillsbury cookie dough.
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toxic levels of carbon monoxide sicken dozens of people in an atlanta, georgia, elementary school. kate bolduan is monitoring that and other stories in "the situation room." what's going on? >> atlanta fire officials found what they say are record and potentially lethal levels of leaking carbon monoxide this morning after responding to a 911 call. they evacuated the elementary
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school and took nearly 50 people to the hospital all complaining of headache, dizziness and severe nausea. no one was seriously injured. carbon monoxide detectors are not required in atlanta schools. also, north korea says it will launch another rocket within days. this announcement to send what government officials call a working satellite into orbit follows a failed attempt last april that drew international condemnation. the u.s. state department says another launch, quote, would be a highly provocative act that threatens peace and security in the region. i guess the question on some people's minds today, did kim kardashian's weekend visit to braun prompt protests? there are kun confirmed reports that police used clear gas to clear out 100 shiite protesters at a shopping center before her arrival. shiite groups have protested there. quite a scene there. and in new orleans, parking
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for customers only? apparently they really mean it, if you're there to save someone's life. paramedics rushed in to get a patient complaining of chest pain. as the ambulance headed off, they said they heard a loud noise. they had a boot. when that came off, a flat tire. another ambulance was called. as far as we know, the patient made it to the hospital. this goes into the category of, come on! >> crazy. kim kardashian, braun, milk d milkshakes in one story? an old adversary for the united states may have been played a role in a terror attack. stand by. the foreign minister of jordan here in "the situation room" live. we're going to discuss that and a lot more when we come back. an. why they have a raise your rate cd.
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leon panetta is introducing the president of the united states at the national defense university. he's speaking now. once the president speaks, we'll monitor what he's saying, dip in, hear what the president has to talk about. he's talking about loose nukes out there, the threat from nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, weapons of mass destruction. the president will be speaking. a foiled plot aimed to bring jordan's capital to its knees and the prize for the terrorist scheme was the united states embassy in oman. we're learning that al qaeda in iraq played a key role in the planning. brian todd has been investigating this story for us.
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brian, what are you learning? >> reporter: we're getting some disturbing new detail emerging now on a plot that was foiled by jordanian authorities several weeks ago. the group the plotters worked with, that will be familiar to many americans. and the coordinated nature of the attack brings to mind one of the most ruthless terrorist operations in recent memory. it was supposed to be on the scale of the devastating 2008 attacks in mumbai, india, when terrorists killed more than 160 people and menaced a huge city for days. this one planned to target the american embassy in the capital of one of the u.s. allies in the middle east. now there's a plot to attack ayman, jordan. jordanian officials say it was first coordinated bombings at large shopping malls in ayman. almost simultaneously, machine gun and bomb attacks on cafe and hotels frequented by diplomats and tourists.
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with the city's police responding to those attacks, jordanian officials say the terrorists plan to launch the main assault on the u.s. embassy in amman. it's one of america's biggest embassies in the world. tom sanderson says the motivation for the attack was to show p capability. >> to inflict damage on the united states, inflict damage, physical and reputational, on the jordanian government in an environment in which all other governments are certainly dealing with their own difficulties right now. >> reporter: all 11 suspects were rounded up by jordanian security forces in mid october. jordanian officials say they'd planned to strike on november 9th, the seventh anniversary of the last al qaeda attack in jordan. when suicide bombers struck three hotels in amman, killing about 60 people. the man who claimed responsible for that attack was al zarqawi
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who led the group al qaeda in iraq. he was killed by u.s. forces in 2006. but analysts say the recent resurgence of al qaeda in iraq shows an unsettling pattern. >> we thought we had them essentially pushed to the wall and snuffed out to a large degree. some individuals were released from prison in iraq and rejoined this group. and certainly when you have a country that is unstable like iraq and you have tremendous sectarian tension there and violence, the more from the sunni side on to the shiite side, you can't be surprised that a group like al qaeda in iraq or the islamic state of iraq would replenish itself. >> reporter: raising questions f of whether america's efforts in iraq paid off and whether the u.s. may need to get back into iraq militarily with small special ops forces to attack those cells again.
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in jordan, all the suspects have moved in and out of syria where weapons and jihadist fighters are plentiful, another sign the syrian civil war is spilling over into jordan, where the u.s. has a large stake in the survival of that government. >> to put it mildly, jordan is one of america's closest allies in that part of the world. if anything were to happen to that government, to that regime, to the kingdom there, that would be a huge loss for the u.s. >> reporter: absolutely it would. analysts say the jordanian intelligence service is one of the best in the entire region. it works very closely with u.s. intelligence to share information on terrorist cells there. if that government falls, a lot of that is compromised or lost. a huge loss for america's assets in that region. >> brian todd, thanks very much. let's get some perspective now from the jordanian foreign minister, nasser judeh. thanks for coming in. how close was al qaeda to blowing up, destroying the u.s. embassy in amman? >> they had just moved into
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operational phase when they thwarted that attempt. we had been monitoring them for a while and we managed to penetrate and ill fill trait their groups. we thwarted that. i want to say a few things. in the reports we're seeing about that thwarted plot, the attempt was to bring amman down to its knees. nobody will do that. terrorists have tried in the past and they'll continue trying. and we've always thwarted them and overcome and prevail. the spillover that was mentioned in the report, i think brian was saying the spillover of the civil war in syria might threaten the stability of jordan and you referred to it as bringing down the government. again, not in their dreams. this would not happen. there's a humanitarian spillover from what's happening in syria and there are cells trying to infiltrate jordan across from the syrian side of the border. and we are being very, very vigilant. but this has nothing to do with
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the political stability of jordan or of our government or of our way of thinking, way of life. >> how big of a deal with this revival of al qaeda in iraq and the potential movement of these al qaeda forces -- we thought al qaeda in iraq was dead. now they seem to be gaining strength and representing some terror threats to jordan. >> well, again, maybe what the report failed to mention is that this operation was called 911-2. >> that's what the al qaeda called it? >> yeah, in reference to our 911, 9th of november, 2005, that resulted in lots and lots of civilian life. now, the thing is that they were affiliated with groups affiliated with al qaeda, like they were getting the technology and the weapons and a new type of explosive that wreaks havoc. and results in the maximum damage in terms of loss of life and in terms of destruction. by the way, i just want to say,
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it was a very active description. attack the shopping malls, distract the police forces and then try to target hotels and cafes where jordanians and others are enjoying their daily lives. but also to attack the entire neighborhood of the u.s. embassy, not just the u.s. embassy, lots of jordanians live in the vicinity of the embassy, with mortar shells and sophisticated weaponry. >> a lot of americans in amman at any time, but especially at the u.s. embassy in amman, a major u.s. embassy. >> and lots of jordanians. >> have you had serious conversations with your iraqi counterparts about dealing with this al qaeda growth in their country? >> of course. our intelligence sources -- you have confidence in nuri al maliki, the prime minister of iraq, that he's doing what he's done? >> he's not my responsibility to talk about what nuri al maliki does in iraq. but our intelligence services and our relevant agencies are talking to their counterparts. this is a whole network.
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we are very vigilant in coordination with many intelligence services to fight this disease called terrorism. we've been a target in the past. people will continue to target civilized countries and civilized countries have to work together to prevent this. >> a former cia analyst is an expert. he wrote this, he said, the longer the civil war in syria goes on, the more al qaeda will benefit from the chaos and the sectarian polarization. it will also benefit from the spillover of violence from syria into lebanon, turkey, iraq and jordan that is now inevitable. is that spillover from what's happening in syria inevitable? >> al qaeda and any terrorist organization looks for fertile ground in any country or any environment where there's instability, where there's violence, where there's a civil war. and this is the case certainly in syria now. you have a civil war that is of
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a political nature and our biggest fear and concern for the entire region is for this to slide into a sectarian and ethnic civil war or violence that is uncontrolled, similar to what we saw in iraq post-2003. this is the ripe environment for any terrorist organization to thrive and to try to perpetrate its heinous ideology and heinous acts -- >> al qaeda is gaining strength in syria right now as part of this war. hillary clinton, the secretary of state, she said the u.s. is prepared, in her words, to take action if the syrian regime, the syrian government of bashar al assad were to use chemical weapons or even move around chemical weapons stockpiles, many of which are near the jordanian border. >> a lot of which is near the jordanian border. we have been aware of this for a while. we're working very, very diligently to monitor that. this is a game changer.
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>> as far as jordan is concerned -- >> as far as the world is concerned. >> you saw that story in "the atlantic" magazine, they posted it on their website, that israel has asked jordan for permission to go in there and attack those chemical weapons sites in syria. >> i saw the report. i'm not aware of these contacts. but this affects all the countries of the region. it will be a game changer in the sense that the world will not stand still and watch these chemical and by logical weapons being used or the threat of them being used. it is going to be a game changer. so far, the lack of unanimity on how to deal with the political side of the situation in syria will certainly change if the syrian regime were to use chemical and biolauiolagogical . >> and turkey wants patriot air did i have missiles. how worried are you that some of the refugee sites in jordan
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spill over from syria, could affect jordan's security? >> it has not so far. like i said -- >> there's no evidence that the regime of bashar al assad has targeted inany sates in jordan? >> none yet. we have a few trouble-makers who are sent back and not allowed to enter. we keep trying to control -- particularly after what we saw in 2005 and the continuous attempts tho try and penetrate jordanian security. so we keep a very vigilant washington. >> nasser judeh, thanks for coming in. >> thank you very much. president obama is speaking about the u.s.-led effort to locate and secure nuclear and chemical weapons. we're going there live in just a few moments. [ ding! ] losing your chex mix too easily? time to deploy the boring-popcorn decoy bucket. then no one will want to steal the deliciousness. with a variety of tastes and textures only chex mix is a bag of interesting. well, having a ton of locations doesn't hurt.
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>> that's why i continue to believe that nuclear terrorism remains one of the greatest events to security. that's why it remains one of my top priorities in national security. we cannot let our guard down. this needs to be a sustained effort across all your organizations, across our government. we have to keep investing in our people and in new technologies. we have to sustain the partnerships we have. and that includes russia. we're joined by some of our russian friends here today. russia's said our current agreement hasn't kept pace with the changing relationship between our countries to which we say, let's update it. let's work with russia as an equal partner. let's continue the work that's so important to the security of both our countries. i'm optimistic that we can. we have to keep creating new partnerships.
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we have to make sure to paraphrase einstein that our wisdom stays ahead of our technology. and i know you're committed to this. and i want you to know that i am, too. so let me leave you with a story of that first trip dick and i took together. you may remember this, dick. i was in ukraine. we went to a facility, an old factory. we walked down these long, dark corridors, ducking our heads, stepping over puddles of something. we're not sure what it was. finally we came across some women sitting at a worktable. on it were piles of old artillery shells. and the women were sitting there taking them apart by hand, slowly, carefully, one by one. it took decades and extraordinary sums of money to build those arsenals. it's going to take decades and continued investments to dismantle them. the two of you know this better
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than anybody. it's painstaking work, rarely makes headlines. but i want each of you to know and everybody who's participating in this important effort to know that the work you do is absolutely vital to our national security and to our global security. missile by missile, warhead by warhead, shell by shell, we're putting a bygone era behind us, inspired by sam and dick, we're moving closer to the future that we seek, a future where these weapons never threaten our children again, a future where we know the security and peace of a world without nuclear weapons. i could not be prouder of these gentlemen. i'm proud to call them friends and i'm looking forward to continuing to work with them and all of you in the years to come. thank you very much. >> the president of the united states making it clear that he wants to do whatever is necessary to continue fighting those so-called loose nukes out there. he also made a pointed reference
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fo the syrian president bashar al assad saying he's been warned about what's going on. any movement of those chemical weapons stockpiles in syria, that is a red line, as far as the united states is concerned. the president over at the national defense university was celebrating today. he was celebrating what was create a program to eliminate nuclear weapons that were a leftover after the collapse of the soviet union. the u.s. provides lots of money and experts to help with the job. the program's responsible for deactivating more than 7,000 nuclear warheads over the past two decades, in addition, some 900 intercontinental ballistic missiles and 6.5 million pounds of chemical weapons material have been destroyed thanks to the program. hillary clinton has served president obama for four years as secretary of state. four years from now, could she
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be moving into her boss' office over at the white house? after this weekend, a lot more people are beginning to speculate about what hillary clinton is planning to do. our "strategy session," james carville and mary matlin, are both standing by live. music is a universal language. but when i was in an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. information on my phone. connection to doctors who get where i'm from. and tools to estimate what my care may cost.
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let's get right to our "strategy session." joining us from new orleans, our cnn political contributors, the democratic strategist james carville and his wife, the
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republican strategist, mary matlin. guys, thanks very much for coming in. i want to do this, i'll play a little clip from -- a little tribute that was paid to hillary clinton, the secretary of state, the outgoing secretary of state, this was at the brookings institution forum this past weekend. watch the little video tribute, what was said. >> more countries may have the same extraordinary good fortune that we've had. ♪ and when you smile >> someone who knows a thing or two about political combat, i don't think we've heard the last of hillary clinton. ♪ girl you're amazing just the way you are ♪ >> i just have an instinct that the best is yet to come. >> that was a little tribute to hillary clinton. she came out of that video at
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the forum and she said this. listen -- >> i prepared some remarks for tonight, but then i thought maybe we could just watch that video a few more times. and then the next time, i could count the hairstyles. that's one of my favorite pastimes. >> the editor of "the new yorker" magazine was there. first words in the column that he wrote, he says, hillary clinton is running for president. all right, james, is she? >> is she? well, four years. a day is a month, as it's said. look, david is one of the smartest people i've ever met in my life. if that's an observation he had, i hope that she does. i don't have any idea that she will. but the hope -- my hope and the hope of a lot of democrats, that she would run for president in four years. but she's had a pretty hard job
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for the last four years. i suspect that she wants to catch her breath a little bit and spend some time with chelsea and her husband and do some other things. but i'm sure it's on her mind. it has to be because a lot of democrats really want her to run around the country. >> i've been saying for a while that i think she is going to run. i think she still has the fire in her belly to become the first woman president of the united states. but what do you think, mary? >> well, you guys are men, so you think like men. i'm a woman, i think like a woman. if i had accomplished as much as she had and had a young daughter who was beginning the seriousness of her career and possibly having children, i might not want to do it. there's lots of ways to have an impact. but there's so much pressure on her from the whole hillary vast corpse, if you will, the hillary machine is not just all together. it's very loyal. it's remained loyal through all
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these obama years. and there's lots of pressure on her -- i think some of james and his colleagues might believe that she would somehow lessen the primary opportunities. but woman or man, whatever, what i've noticed in politics is that people are competitive. and i don't think she clears out the primary if she gets in. >> let's move on to this whole debate that's going on involving who the president should nominate to be the next secretary of state replacing hillary clinton. a little exchange between john mccain and john kerry earlier today. watch this. >> senator mccain? >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. >> i think thank you very much, mr. president. this is what happens when you
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get two losers up here. we're just having fun. >> so here's the serious question, though, i'll start, james, with you, once again. who do you think would be a better secretary of state? would it be john kerry, the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, or susan rice, the u.s. ambassador to the united nations? >> i honestly have no idea. i would say john kerry because i know senator kerry. i don't know if i've met ambassador rice before. but to be honest with you, both of them are imminently qualified people. i can't imagine either one of them would do anything other than a spectacular job. but i'm a political guy, not a foreign policy guy. i'm just unable to really render a very knowledgeable -- >> let me rephrase the question. politically speaking, who would the president be better off nominating? >> politically speaking? probably ambassador rice because
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she would represent sort of new and different administration. but i don't think people when they look at the secretary of state, i don't think that there's much of a political gain there. i say that, but i say it without a lot of conviction or a lot of authority. i think the one that you want is the one that does the best job because if they get in there and do something wrong, the politics of it are horrendous for you. i'm just not that -- that's not my area of expertise. >> mary, what's your thought? >> he cannot nominate susan rice and not because of the benghazi scandal but because of her previous tenure at state where she doesn't have a good record and her u.n. record is not good. we don't have time to go through the particulars, but i think senator kerry would not only be the policy and political wiser choice. >> everything i've read about ambassador rice, she's imminently qualified for the job. >> you guys can continue this conversation at home right now.
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thanks to both of you for joining us. the royal line of succession could soon be adding a new name. britain is buzz right now over the news the royal family is about to add another member. ll t in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery.
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catherine duchess of cambridge is pregnant. cnn's royal correspondent max foster is at the epicenter of the madness that's going on right now. the hospital where the duchess has been admitted with acute morning sickness. max, give us the latest. >> reporter: well, i think we're going to be here for months now, wolf. but certainly the kucduchess of cambridge in the hospital on her own. prince william came up with her
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but there's some degree of concern as they came up to london. not in ambulances but in cars. he's just left the hospital. and royal sources saying they're not overly concerned about the condition of the duchess. but they're concerned enough to come to the hospital. also concerned now have to announce this early because she is still not 12 weeks pregnant. they weren't planning to announce this at this point. but they were forced into it because of the hospitalization. and the queen and the prince of wales, william's father, were informed today that she was pregnant. so this was meant to be under raps. it isn't any longer. the duchess being treated in the hospital for -- being given nutrients being given hydration treatments and being given rest crucially, that's a crucial thing they must have at this point. >> give us a little sense of the excitement, the reaction in britain right now to this news. >> reporter: well, we've been
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waiting for it for over a year now, wolf, since the wedding. there's been all sorts of speculation, certainly the u.s. magazines have been full of speculation over the past year and a half. the princess of wales, princess diana, got pregnant in her first year of marriage, as did the queen. so people were expecting it lt it's been a year and a half, though. certainly a huge sense of excitement. the media's been full of it. magazines full of it. it's a truly global story. huge amounts of press here outside the hospital and in various locations around london, more coming in. certainly a very, very big story. we're expecting to hear more updates tomorrow. but no more updates tonight. they don't want to give a running commentary on this. but we will be getting some sorts of updates over the next coming day. she'll be in the hospital for a few days. >> we wish her only the best, hope she starts feeling a little bit better very soon. max, thank you very much. other important news coming up, including the syrian president, bashar al assad,
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bp has paid overthe people of bp twenty-threeitment to the gulf. billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger.
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get selsun blue for itchy dry scalp. strong itch-fighters target scalp itch while 5 moisturizers leave hair healthy. selsun blue. got a clue? get the blue. the white house has just responded to the new fiscal cliff offer from house republicans. let's bring in our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin. jessica, how's the response? >> reporter: hi, wolf. it should not be a surprise that the white house is dismissing the house republicans' offer as an unserious offer because it does not address a raise in tax rates. here's a statement from dan pfeiffer, the communications director here at the white house. he says in a statement in part, quote, the republican letter
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released today does not meet the test of balance. in fact, it actually promises to lower tax rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill. the republicans' plan includes nothing new and provides no details on which deductions they would eliminate, which loopholes they will close or which medicare savings they would achieve. he goes on to say, until the republicans in congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates, we won't be able to achieve a significant, balanced approach to reduce our deficit our nation needs. so, wolf, here at the white house, they received this letter earlier in the day. they've had time to process it and clearly the white house not seeing this as something that they want to even bargain with. they've been saying that the next move is up to speaker boehner. and they wanted to see specific details so that they could actually begin the negotiations.
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what we see in this statement is that they feel he did not provide those details. now, the speaker and the president will see each other tonight we think at a holiday reception here at the white house. we'll see if they will actually discuss this, wolf. >> all right. the republicans hated the democratic initial proposal. the white house hates the republican counterproposal. we'll have much more in our next hour, jessica, thank you. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, president obama issued a clear warning to the president bashar al assad. there will be consequences if you use chemical weapons against your own people. new details of the tragedy that shocked the sports world. an orphaned newborn baby. what drove an nfl player to commit a murder/suicide. and a royal pregnancy results in a royal health scare. why morning sickness has land the duchess of cambridge in the hospital. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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we begin this hour with new signs the syrian president bashar al assad may be preparing to unleash chemical weapons on the rebels in his own country, maybe even against civilians. just a few minutes ago, president obama issued this sharp warning to the syrian president. >> i want to make it absolutely clear to assad and those under his command, the world is watching. the use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. and if you make the trac mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable. [ applause ] .
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>> our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr, has more on what's going on. barbara, what are you hearing about syria and its chemical weapons sock pyles? >> reporter: well, president obama's words, wolf, so sharp, so pointed. and it's all because over the weekend, there was disturbing new intelligence out of syria. this syrian chemical weapons site near aleppo is just ten miles from the latest fighting. one of dozens of chemical weapons sites across syria. at at least one of these sites, u.s. officials say their latest intelligence shows syrian forces over the weekend began mixing two chemicals needed to make deadly seran gas, raising significant new concern that bashar al assad may be preparing a gas attack. >> we have made our views very clear. this is a red line for the united states.
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i'm not going to tell grapeelle in any specifics of what we would do in terms of credible evidence that the assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against their own people, but suffice it to say, we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur. >> reporter: in response, the syrian foreign ministry said syria will not use chemical weapons on its own people. but it has threatened to use them against foreign forces if invaded. u.s. officials believe assad has not yet ordered an attack but is getting ready possibly for a limited strike. intelligence suggests the regime might use artillery shells filled with sarin against opposition forces hoping to roll back their advances. >> you're hearing from me about
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our increased concern. you're hearing from me the fact that we are consulting with our allies and international partners, as well as the opposition about this. >> reporter: assad faces world outrage if he attacks. sarin, 500 times as deadly as cyanide, can kill in minutes. it's a nightmare scenario that has worried syria's neighbors for months. >> we're right there. we're right next door. whether they are used by whichever party, especially if they fall into the wrong hands, we have to be prepared and we have to be vigilant to protect our own country. this is something that is studied very, very carefully over many months, not just today. >> reporter: now, one u.s. official says the move appears to be an effort by the syrian military to give assad options for a possible strike. but right now, obama administration officials say they are not at all certain what assad may do next. we want to credit our friends at the website wire.com. they were the first to break the
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news that all of this involves sarin gas, wolf. >> what can the united states potentially do about this? >> reporter: well, look, this is a very tough neighborhood in the middle east. there is going to have to be an effort, officials say, again to get neighboring countries involved. israel, will they let this happen? perhaps not. we shall see. jordan, of course, we talked to the foreign minister just on friday. most vulnerable potentially. u.s. special forces have been going in and out of jordan for several months now. we have covered this story to help the jordanian military be ready and be prepared if the war crosses borders one way or the other into their country. wolf? >> barbara starr, very alarming news. thank you. syrian civilians are especially vulnerable to a chemical attack. and this latest development is making life even more urn certain for those caught near the front lines of the civil war, especially children. cnn's senior international correspondent arwa damon is
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risking her life right now, one of the few western reporters on the ground inside northern syria. >> reporter: they are home again. but they are cold and broke and still in danger. about a third of the families who fled the neighborhood of aleppo have come back, only to find out that these streets are now on the front lines. if the regime can retake the neighborhood, it can cut off the main artery for opposition forces in aleppo and reopen a route to the airport. on a nearby hilltop, the neighborhood, the rebels used to control this one as well but lost it a month ago. the battle lines here are constantly fluid and snipers are a constant threat.
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the front line is visible just through here. and we can barely make out three bodies. the rebel fighters are telling us that they're two male and one female. there were five. they managed to extract two, but they can't reach the others. for the children here, gunfire has become background noise. this 12-year-old hardly notices. she says she's not afraid anymore. to start with, her little sister is also chatty. but then gets scared. her father says she thought the rebel fighters with us were assad's forces. despite his efforts to reassure her, she's still anxious and with reason. he was shot in the arm as a checkpoint. the bullet was going to hit my daughter, he tells us. but i had just put my arm around her.
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she, just 4 years old, blinks hard, yes. she ended up drenched in her father's blood. as gunfire rings out again, her father takes away the bullet casings she's collected. nearby, a woman who doesn't want to be filmed takes me aside. sometimes i want to die, rather than live like this, she whispers. >> arwa damon is joining us now from northern syria. arwa, what about these reports -- you've heard the secretary of state talking about it -- that the syrian regime may be moving around their chemical weapons. if they are, that's a red line that the u.s. will have to deal with. are the rebels where you are concerned that bashar al assad's regime could use chemical weapons against them? >> reporter: they most certainly are, wolf. first of all, they believe that this regime will do just about anything to stay in power. and the concern, as was voiced
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to me by one of the opposition members here, is that he is perhaps saving that ability for the moment when aleppo eventually falls. that is a card that people -- here the rebel fighters do believe the syrian government has yet to play. and it most certainly is a weapon against which they have absolutely no defenses whatsoever. and they do believe that the more choked they are able to get government forces, especially in aleppo and in other parts of the country, the more desperate the government is going to become, the more likely it is that the government could possibly employ these types of weapons against areas where the rebels are known to be establishing significant strongholds because the gains that we've been seeing the rebels make, especially in this part of the country, have been fairly significant, wolf. >> what did you see today? you were out and about. tell our viewers what you saw today. >> reporter: we went to the military academy that is just to the north of aleppo. and it lies on a very strategic route north.
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if the rebels can capture it, they will effectively have cleared a northern route in and out of the city. it is very strategic. they have this military academy under siege, which means that they have three different brigades surrounding it and another unit that is stationed on the road as well, another example of how better coordinated the rebel fighting force is becoming. that being said, there are still a fair amount of clashes in this area. they estimate that there are around 450 government soldiers still inside. the vast majority of them are alawites. there have been a number of regular defections taking place. supplies for the forces still inside are coming in by air. they're running low on food. they're running low on fuel. their communications are largely shut off. the rebels have also shot their water supply. but we spoke to some defectors and they were telling us that those who were still fighting inside believe that this is a fight until the very end.
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they believe that if they -- asking them to lay down their weapons and hand themselves over and they have been refusing -- as i was saying, they do believe that this is a battle for their very survival at this point in time. the rebels claim that if they wanted to, they could in fact overrun the base. they said they don't want to do so because they believe there are dozens of soldiers inside still waiting to defect, wolf. >> arwa damon reporting for us from noren syria. arwa, thank you very much. when we come back, fiscal cliff proposal, counterproposal, the white house hates what the republicans are proposing. the republicans hate what the white house is proposing. they apparently are no closer to a deal. we'll have the details on the latest republican counteroffer to the president's proposal. r t, the distances aren't getting shorter. ♪
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in egypt, growing unrest over the government's new draft constitution. kate bolduan is back monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room." it's going on every single day. >> it's a story that continues to develop. egypt's supreme judicial council has agreed to oversee this month's referendum on a new constitution drafted by a panel dominated by islamists. the vote had been uncertain after egypt's top judges suspended work when president morsi's supporters blocked them from entering the courthouse. but morsi opponents protesting the new constitution say they'll hold a general strike tomorrow. and mitt romney is getting back to work. he'll be rejoining marriott international's board of directors in a job he held before his failed bid for the white house. since the election, romney's stayed mostly out of the spotlight and pretty quiet. he and paul ryan met with president obama in washington last week. witnesses say it was terrifying, a crushing tunnel collapse about 50 miles west of tokyo. authorities have recovered nine
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bodies, most of them from burned vehicles. experts say aging parts in the tunnel could be to blame. the disaster has prompted japanese officials to order emergency inspections of dudsens of other tunnels with similar designs across the country. and here's a sign of the times. the pope is on twitter. the vatican today revealed pope benedict's personal handle is @pontifacts. the vatican said the pope believes the catholic church must be present in the digital arena. that's going to be hard to answer a question about faith in 140 characters. >> he'll probably have 1 million followers in two hours. >> he has more than 230,000 followers and he hasn't even had a single tweet. his name means bridge builder in latin. another name for the pope. >> yeah. i'll follow him. >> i will as well. >> are thank you very much. maybe if i follow him, he'll follow me, too.
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>> that would be a very great thing. >> maybe he'll follow you. >> i doubt that. more likely he'll follow you. >> you never know. thank you very much for that. what's going on in syria right now? there are dramatic developments, a direct warning from the president of the united states today to bashar al assad. fouad ajami is standing by. we'll talk to him when we come back. 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer power? [ laughing ] [ stops laughing ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. this holiday season, trade up to get the 2012 chevy silverado all-star edition for 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $2,000 cash allowance or get a total value of $9,000.
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house republicans have made app counteroffer to president obama's initial proposal to keep the country from going over the so-called fiscal cliff. and the president just rejected the republican proposal outright. so where does that leave us right now? tax hikes, spending cuts will
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automatically take effect january 1st unless the two sides can reach an agreement on debt reduction before then. our chief national correspondent john king is joining us right now. seems like they're posturing big-time. but the clock is ticking. >> you had the president's plan, now a house republican plan. at least you have two pieces of paper on the table. the republicans don't budge on the president's top priority, that trophy. he wants higher tax rates on wealthy americans. the republicans try to put some pressure on the democrats by laying out $600 billion in health savings, medicare and the like, adjust that cost of living increase for social security and other federal programs. the president's proposal puts pressure on republicans on rates. the republican proposal puts pressure on the president on entitlements and that cost of living adjustment. the question now is, do they negotiate or just posture? >> that's a good question. are you at all surprised that they're both negotiating in public with specific details of their respective plans instead of just doing this quietly
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behind the scenes, let their representatives go about a serious negotiation? >> there are some staff members on capitol hill who are circulating what they think will be ultimately where they have to -- as we get closer to christmas, sit down and cut out a deal. ip not surprised the republicans came forward with a public counterproposal because they thought the president was winning if with his proposal. the president has the bully pulpit. his team said, here's the plan. and the white house is making the case. the president won the election campaigning on higher tax rates for the wealthy. the republicans want to do it a different way. the question is, will the president ever give up on that or will the republicans agree to something? you can do the math different ways. but in the fight over how to do it, the clock is ticking. and there's a big question about whether they can at least get a short-term agreement before we hit the cliff and then worry about the big picture.
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>> the republicans are saying, we're not going to raise that rate from 35% to 39.6% for those families making more than $250,000 a year. the republicans come back and say, don't raise the rate, but cap deductions for those wealthy individuals. and the white house is saying, that's not going today a up to the numbers that you need. >> there are aboy are about $80 right now. the president says, i want $1.6 trillion in new revenue. that's a lot of money. the question is, whatever they ultimately might negotiate in the long term to do tax reform -- if you're going to do loopholes and lower everybody's rates, that's going to take several months at a minimum. can they negotiate a short-term deal to avoid the cliff, which is the automatic tax increases and those spending cuts that many economists would send the economy back into recession? you have to put out counterpoints. now the question is, can they start negotiating the policy proposals and can they start
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building the big missing ingredient here, which is frus. >> they've had a year and a half to do this and they wait -- >> they wanted to wait for the election. now they know the results of the election. but their positions sure haven't changed much. >> john, thanks very much. a royal celebration tempered by a health scare. prince william's wife pregnant and now in the hospital. we'll have details of her condition. and when you switch from another company to us, we even reward you for the time you spent there. genius. yeah, genius. you guys must have your own loyalty program, right? well, we have something. show her, tom. huh? you should see november! oh, yeah? giving you more. now that's progressive. call or click today. bp has paid overthe people of bp twenty-threeitment to the gulf. billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open,
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let's get more of this hour's top story. u.s. official telling cnn syrian forces are now combining chemicals to make deadly sarin gas for possible use against rebels and civilians. the obama administration is underscoring that the united states won't stand for chemical warfare by the syrian regime. >> we have made our views very clear. this is a red line for the united states. >> if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and
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you will be held accountable. >> let's get some more. joining us, the middle east scholar, fouad ajami, senior fellow at the hoover institution, author of the book "the syrian rebellion." thanks very much for coming in. do you think president bashar al assad would actually use chemical weapons against his own people? >> well, you know, wolf, it's been hard to know what bashar al assad would and wouldn't do. we never thought he would use his air force. we never thought fighter jets would be used in a sifl war. but he has used fighter jets. and i think there's some very odd, morally and politically, about the american position drawing this kind of red line, that we will not permit the use of chemical weapons but we have stood aside and watched the slaughter now for 19 months. and what's the difference between chemical weapons and the use of the air force? this is a very peculiar way of drawing that moral red line. in a way, it almost says to bashar, short of using chemical
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weapons, you are free to do whatever you wish. >> your assumption, if he's used fire attack helicopters, he wouldn't necessarily hesitate to do what the late saddam hussein did, use chemical weapons against his people? >> depends on the despair of the regime. i thought this would be the last resort. this would be an option right as the regime is about to fall. one thing about bashar, he knows what the red lines are. he wishes to have a free hand in dealing with his own population. and he wishes to keep the powers at bay and the powers away. so i think the use of chemical weapons, he'll have to think hard about it. it's pretty much opted for the samson strategy, if you will. he's wrecked the country, he's destroyed it. he's destroyed aleppo and the battle for damascus as begun. >> i noticed a nuance, a difference in what the president said about syria and its
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chemical weapons stockpiles back in august during the campaign and what he said today at the national defense university here in washington today. as you just heard, he said, if you make the tragic mistake, referring to bashar al assad, of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable. listen to how he phrased that back in august. >> sure. >> we have been very clear to the assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. that would change my calculus. that would change my equation. >> so then he said if they're utilized but also if they're just being moved around, that would be a red line. am i reading too much into these nuances or do you see a significant difference what he said then as opposed to what he's saying now? >> to be honest with you, wolf, i don't really see the difference.
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there had been a determination on the part of the president and on the part of his secretary of state to stay away from the syrian conflict and to stay away from it as long as the president were running for reelection. i've always thought at some point after the bid for a second term, there would be greater leeway for the obama administration. but again and again, we must look at what's happened in syria. 4 million people in syria are internally displaced. 40,000 people at least have been killed. 750,000 people have fled across the borders of syria. the syrian people are now spending their second winter outdoors in the middle of this horrendous weather. so i think all the things that happened, when you look at what happened over the last 19 months, if now we draw a red line, it's not a moment too soon. >> i interviewed the jordanian foreign minister, nasser judeh, today. and we spoke about this
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apparently increasing threat of al qaeda in syria gaining a foothold. listen to what he told me. >> this is the ripe environment for any terrorist organization to thrive. >> how concerned should we be about al qaeda trying to exploit what's going on in syria, create a base there? >> well, you know, wolf, this is what we've been saying. we've been saying it on your show now for 19 months. and those of us who have favored intervention in syria have always said it will be a choice. either the cavalry comes, either the rescue from the outside world comes, either the rescue comes from the united states or we will have these jihadists coming into syria and doing the dirty deeds that they do. we can't complain about the jihadists. they're the ones who came to the rescue of the syrian people. and the syrian people -- as far as they're concerned, if the devil comes to their aid, they will take it. >> fouad ajami joining us, as usual, appreciate it very, very much. >> thank you. a new report says the
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pentagon wants to set up a spy network that would rival the crepe. our national security contributor fran townsend is joining us. i'll ask her what's going on. . it's swanson flavor boost. concentrated broth to add delicious flavor to your skillet dish in just one stir. mmm! [ female announcer ] cook, meet compliments. get recipes at flavorboost.com.
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a spy agency the size of the cia inside the pentagon. "the washington post" is reporting the defense department plans to send hundreds more spies overseas in an effort to make the agency more attuned to emerging threats and more closely aligned with the cia. let's get some perspective on what's going on. joining us, our cnn national security contributor fran townsend. fran, what sort of immediate
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effects are we going to see because of this new project with the d.i.a., the defense intelligence agency? >> reporter: wolf, i think most people don't realize that to recruit, train and deploy a case officer, a clandestine human intelligence officer, takes years to do that effectively. but what in the near term we can expect is the redisappointmenep d.i.a. will look at the people, the personnel they have and see if they are not working on missions that are as high a priority as the collection mission. and may redeploy them to places around the world to support the war fighter. oftentimes these sorts of deployments are done in coordination with the director of cia. after we had intelligence reform post-september the 11th, the director of cia is the human intelligence manager across the government. so these sorts of deployments by the defense department would be done in coordination with the director of cia.
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>> last july over at the aspen institute in colorado, i interviewed admiral william mccraven, head of special u.s. operations forces. we had this little discussion, i'll play a little clip. >> you tend to think that the fbi's lane isvery clear and that the cia's lane is very clear and that defense intelligence is very clear. but in reality, they're all talking to each other all day long, making sure the information and the intelligence they've gotten is right. they are checking and double-checking. >> how do you make sure that cia officers aren't tripping over d.i.a. officers, if you will, that spies from the cia aren't tripping over spies from the d.i.a.? >> reporter: as you can imagine, for a long time, that was the case. they did trip over each other. sometimes it was cia and fbi. sometimes it was cia and the defense intelligence agency. post the intelligence reform and prevention act of 9/11, what happened was there were mission
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managers. so, for example, the director of the national security agency is the coordinator for all signals intelligence, no matter which agency is doing that collection. on the human intelligence side, the director of cia is responsible for coordination and decon flix of all human intelligence collection anywhere around the world. so what you find is one agency like d.i.a. may have access in a country that's denied or difficult for cia to operate in. and the reverse is also true. cia has operatives in countries where the defense intelligence agency can't get into. they share their assets, they share the information they collect and they jointly collect information against the requirements -- it may be a war fighter requirement or a policymaker requirement for information. but doesn't matter whose asset it is. they share the information and the director of cia will make sure all those requirements get fulfilled and they're de-conflicted. we're using the human intelligence assets we have most effectively. >> we'll continue to watch this
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story, fran, thanks very much for joining us. fran townsend, our national security contributor. we're getting more reaction now from the white house to the fiscal cliff counteroffer that house republicans have put forward today. let's go back to our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin. she has new information for us. jessica, we heard white house's blistering public response to speaker boehner's counterproposal. but will they sit down to actually negotiate where things stand now? >> reporter: well, wolf, in response to this offer, they are not going to sit down and negotiate. they will be open to talking. they will be open to receiving phone calls. but, you know, the white house has said that if speaker boehner presents a counteroffer in response to what secretary geithner presented last week, they will begin negotiations, they think this is not a serious offer and so they say this will not be the start of those negotiations. >> what is the one thing the white house hates the most about this republican counterproposal?
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>> reporter: the fact that it does not raise rates on the wealthy. they say that it actually would reduce rates on the wealthy. they argue that it also doesn't do enough on entitlement. it doesn't have enough specifics in general. but it does not meet that one fundamental test for the president on rates, wolf. >> so if the republicans don't blink on raising that 35% current tax rate for families making more than $250,000 a year, what happens? >> reporter: we're in a bit of a staring contest at this point, wolf. tonight, i'll tell you there is a holiday reception at the white house. they call it a congressional ball. but it is a black tie holiday reception where there's a receiving line where members of congress will be at the white house and they'll each get a picture taken with the president if they want it. so members of congress, republican leadership can have a chance to talk to the president if they want to bring up some of these issues. they can bring those up with the president there. also some of his senior staff will be there to talk to them as well while they're mingling.
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we're also told that the phone lines are open. conversations can happen anytime. but the folks i talk to here at the white house, my sources are telling me, they're prepared in a sense to go over the cliff if republicans, they put it on republicans, aren't willing to raise rates, wolf. not there yet. >> the white house clearly thinks they still have more leverage than the republicans? >> reporter: they're emphatic about it, yeah. the point is, the red line is those rates. but they clearly believe that republicans will be blamed if the nation goes over that cliff. they also think we have time to avoid that. but the blame in their view would be placed on the republicans, wolf. >> reminds me of that stalemate back in the '90s during the clinton administration when bill clinton was president, newt gingrich was speaker, the threat to shut down the government. bill clinton didn't blink. the republicans didn't blink. they shut down the government. the republicans were blamed by and large for that shutting down the government even if it was only for a few days. a lot of the democrats who
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served worked for bill clinton at that time are working for this president right now. they remember that government shutdown stand-off. let's see if that affects their thinking going forward right now. thanks very much, jessica, for that. there's bad flooding in california right now. what does it mean for the state's most famous wine producing regions? we'll have the latest on that. a lot more news coming up. ienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. visit fastreliefchallenge.com today for a special trial offer. aww, not the mall. well, i'll do the shopping... if you do the shipping. shipping's a hassle. i'll go to the mall. hey. hi. y'know, holiday shipping's easy with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. yeah, i know. oh, you're good. [ laughing ] good luck!
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a royal baby watch is on in britain. prince william and his wife, catherine, are expecting a baby. but the former kate middleton, the duchess of cambridge, is now not even 12 weeks along and her morning sickness is so severe she's now in the hospital.
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our senior medical correspondent, elizabeth cohen, is on the story for us. elizabeth, how often do women end up in the hospital with morning sickness during the first trimester? >> any woman can tell you, morning sickness is quite common, it happens to a lot of women. a relatively small percentage end up in the hospital. what's also interesting is morning sickness doesn't just happen in the morning. it can go on all day long. some women when they get to that 13, 14-week mark, it magically goes away. other women experience it all pregnancy long. >> what's the treatment? >> the treatment is, you put someone in the hospital if it's really severe because you need to get the medicines and nutrition and fluids iv. if the woman can't keep anything down, you give them anti-nausea medications iv. it has to be iv because she's throwing everything up. >> let's hope the best for kate, the former kate middleton, the duchess of cambridge. thanks very much for that,
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elizabeth. northern california's cleaning up from a series of storms. the latest packing gale force winds and dropping as much as 15 inches of rain in the coastal mountains. there was flooding in some areas. hundreds of flights were canceled. hundreds of thousands of people were left without power. cnn's meteorologist chad myers has the latest from the cnn severe weather center. chad, these powerful storms in les less than a week. could it have been a whole lot worse? >> certainly. and there will be. there are four more storms to come. we had three. one comes form tomorrow and three lined up like planes heading into an international airport. this is going to be a wet week. 23 inches of rain. not snow. we've had feet of snow in the higher elevations. but 23 inches of rain in spots that has to all run off. now the ground's saturated. it's going to run off every time it rains again. talked about power outages. look at this. this is category 2, 3, 4 wind gusts here in parts of california in the highest of elevations knocking trees down,
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knocking power lines down as well. backing up to last night, storm moved onshore, drid out today a little bit. but another batch of moisture coming on shore tomorrow. rain starting tomorrow about 10:00 local time. rains in the same spots it's been raining for days, like ten days. raining in parts of seattle down to portland. this is light rain at best. it gets worse than this. and it's going to be one mess for just the next day after day after day as we get one storm after another. here's the story now for today. this morning, it was dry. tonight, still dry. tomorrow morning, done. raining by 9:00 in the morning. northern california, rains all day and into wednesday. dries out on friday. let me zoom it out for you. we have a storm for tuesday. we have a storm for thursday. and another one back here for next saturday. that's four storms in ten days in a place that's already flooding. wolf? >> so what i hear you saying is that folks in northern
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california's wine country, they are by no means out of the woods? >> well, this would be a whole lot worse. had this backed up -- let's say this was august or september and this storm system came through, 2012 would have been wrecked. there would no wine at all. the grapes would have been popping, way too much rain late in the season makes wine thin, very watery. at least it came when the grapes and vines are for now. >> thank you. meanwhile, new information coming in to the "situation room" about the murder-suicide rocking the nfl right now. relatives and team officials are speaking out. but i'm still "stubbed" up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook.
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but authorities in belize want to question him about the killing of his neighbor. nobody saw him until he contacted cnn's martin savage and agreed to an interview that was anything but normal. >> reporter: the search to find john mcafee started here at the airport. it began with three simple words. sorry i'm late. a prearranged code word to let me know i'd met the person that would take me to mcafee. what followed was a drive road through winding, twisting streets and then we get in to a parking lot, get in to another vehicle and drive off again. this time with switchbacks, u-turns and back alleys. clearly meant to confuse us as well as anyone following. and then, there we were. face to face. observation number one. with john afee, there's no such thing as a simple answer. you are john mcafee?
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>> i think so, yes. i am john mcafee. >> reporter: he seemed nervous, anxious. are you afraid? >> wouldn't you be, sir? >> reporter: he used that sir thing a lot. his hair is jet black. part of the disguise he says and by his own admission vain. asking us to wait for his hair to dry before starting the interview. and then that interview ranged from completely convincing like when i asked him about the neighbor's murder d. you kill greg fall? >> i barely knew the man and why would i kill him? he was a neighbor that lived 200 yards down the beach. >> reporter: to off the wall. >> do you believe the government is -- this is a vendetta by the government of belize to take you down and kill you? >> absolutely, sir. >> reporter: he says he's not on drugs and hasn't touched alcohol in 30 years but started smoking again which he puts down to current circumstances and he's not alone.
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mcafee at 67 openly speaks of many more. >> it's real that i had six -- how many? >> 50. >> it seemed almost surreal right down to the coffee i drank with him. before we started there was one more question i had to ask of this software genius. are you a smart man? i mean, i know you're an intelligent man. >> i don't think so. if i were smart, would i be here? i'm a foolish man. i know that much. >> reporter: you know what? i believe him. thank you. >> you're welcome. family members and team officials are speaking out about the murder-suicide involving the kansas city chiefs jovan belcher and his girlfriend. ed lavandera is working the story for us. tell us what's going on. >> reporter: we're still trying to get to the bottom of the question everyone is asking. why did this happen?
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we spoke with a spokesperson close to the family of kasandra perkins saying they had no idea, no clue something like this could happen. >> i believe our suspect is chiefs player so whoever goes over there, proceed with caution. >> reporter: hearing the voices of kansas city police officers racing to make sense of what happened moments after belcher shot his girlfriend perkins at least three times. >> okay. i've got two coaches, one other employee here trying to talk with him. >> reporter: they did not know that belcher had just killed his girlfriend, head coach right in front of him. >> i was trying to get him to understand that life is not over. he still has a chance and let's get this worked out. >> reporter: but belcher did not listen. >> we've got shotted fired. self inflicted. one in the head. get in there. >> reporter: the career was a poetic rise to the top. the university of maine, not a school known for professional
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football stars. belcher's coaches say fierce determination made him a starter. kansas city chiefs players say they never saw warning signs in the recent behavior. the teammate called on to replace belcher in the line-up. young age. high profile jobs. he's a young father. did you ever get the sense that he was struggling to deal with pressures? >> we never seen anything. he never gave up a sign. or pressure was too much. he was always happy. >> reporter: did he ever experience troubles of his personal life? >> no major troubles in his life. everybody has some issues in their personal life. i mean, all of us here have issues in our personal life. and everybody handles issues differently. he seemed like a strong-willed individual to me. he's a leader. he was sitting in the front of the classroom. he's a first to the drills. i'm not a psychologist. i don't know what made him snap. >> reporter: perkins' family
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spokesperson said there were never any signs of trouble in the relationship, described them as loving couple and belcher never abused her the family says and they're struggling to find out why it happened. the belcher family said they can't explain it either. >> we'll cherish the wol memories we have of jovan and pray those memories bring us peace as we grapple to understand the unpredictable and tragic ending of his life and a life of kasandra perkins. >> reporter: inside the locker room as players answered questions about their teammate and eerie snapshot, jovan belcher's locker left untouched, frozen in time. and wolf, as you know there's been talk in the nfl about the effect of concussions on football players. long term. his coach was asked about whether or not jovan belcher
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suffered any concussions and the head coach here says not that he was aware of. unfortunately, because jovan belcher shot himself in the head it's impossible to do any analysis of his brain has been done on other plarls in the nfl that committed commit. wolf? >> sad, sad story. thank you, ed. happening now, alarming new details of an al qaeda terror plot against one of the biggest united states embassies in the world. top obama and romney campaign officials reveal the best moves and worst mistakes during the campaign. find out why a homeless man given boots by a generous police officer is barefoot once again. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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al qaeda terrorists planned to strike dais after the u.s. presidential election with a attack on the american embassy in amman, jordan, and other targets in the capital. we are learning more about this plot right now. just how deadly it could have been. brian todd is digging on this story. brian, update our viewers what you are learning. >> reporter: there's disturbing new detail on the plot foiled by jordanian authorities. al qaeda called it 9/11-2 and jordan's second 9/11-style attack and the coordinated nature brings to mind one of the ruthless terrorist operations in recent memory. it was supposed to be on the scale of the devastating 2008 attacks in mumbai, india, when terrorists killed more than 160 people and menaced a huge city for days. this one planned to target the american embassy in the capital of one of the top u.s. allies in the middle east. now, new details are emerging on
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a plot to attack amman, jordan. jordanian officials tell cnn the plot called for three waves of attack. first, coordinated bombings at large shopping bombs in amman. almost smul tan lousily, machine gun and bomb attacks on cafes and hotels frequented by diplomats and tourists and then jordanian officials say the terrorists planned to launch the main assault on the u.s. embassy in amman. bombs, machine gun fire and mortar shells to rain down on the compound. one of america's biggest embassies in the world. terrorism analyst tom sanderson. >> to inflict damage, reputational on the jordanian government in a vomit in which all other governments are dealing with their own difficulties right now. >> reporter: all 11 suspects were rounded up by jordanian security forces in mid-october.
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jordanian officials said they planned to strike november 9th, the seventh anniversary of the last al qaeda attack in jordan striking three hotels in amman killing about 60 people. the man that xlamed responsibility for the twif attack, a jordanian who led the group al qaeda in iraq. he was killed by u.s. forces in 2006. but analysts say the recent resurgence of al qaeda in iraq shows an unsettling pattern. >> we thought we had them essentially pushed to the wall and snuffed out to a large degree. some individuals who were released from prison in iraq and rejoined the group and certainly when you have a county that's unstable like iraq, you can't be surprised that a group like al qaeda in iraq or the islamic state of iraq would replenish itself. >> raising questions of whether america's efforts in iraq paid
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off, at least as far as combatting terrorist cells is concerned. and whether the u.s. may need to get back in to iraq militarily with small special ops forces to attack those cells again. another detail on the plot in jordan, all the suspects according to officials had moved in and out of syria where weapons and jihadist fighters are plentiful. another sign that the civil war could be spilling over to jordan where the u.s. has a large stake in the survival of that government, wolf. >> to put it mildly. jordanian government is -- if it is destabilize, brian, that's a huge intelligence political disaster for u.s. interests in that part of the world. >> absolutely it would be, wolf. analysts say that jordanian intelligence service is one of the best in the regions and works with u.s. intelligence to share information on terrorist cells there. if that government falls, a lot of that is compromised or lost. it would be a huge loss for u.s. intelligence in that region.
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>> brian todd, thank you. i spoke a little while with the jordanian foreign minister and asked him about the scope of the foiled terror plot in amman, jordan, and how al qaeda in iraq is managing to make a comeback. >> thing is they were affiliated with groups affiliated with al qaeda in iraq and getting the technology and weapons that wreak havoc and results in destruction. >> let's bring in kate baldwin watching when's going on and joining us peter bergen, our national security annual igs. al qaeda in thiiraq, they seem be making a comeback. we thought they were gone. >> we need perspective, wolf. in 2006, they controlled a third of the country. an bar province, basically ran according to the marines assessment of the time. they're no longer in control of
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territory. they're clearly an effective terrorist group. not just the events that failed plot in amman and now fairly regular big car bombs in baghdad which are al qaeda in iraq's handiwork. >> in amman, it was like a multi-pronged terror plot, go after malls, shopping districts and government buildings and then blow up -- you've been to the u.s. embassy in amman. it's a lot of americans working there. they wanted to make a point. >> yeah. and, you know, these groups have capabilities. we saw as brian pointed out in his piece that this is a group that pulled off an attack that killed 60 people, mostly jordanians in 2005. the group of american-owned hotels. certainly this is a group that's successfully carried out attacks on american targets in jordan in the past. balanced against that, you know, they lost a lot of credibility in jordan as a result of that attack. almost all of the victims were jordanian. so, you know, it is worrisome
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and what they're doing in syria and what they're doing in iraq. they're certainly not out of business. >> i wanted to ask you about syria. syria's the fastest growing al qaeda group. and the jordanian foreign minister just told wolf the situation in syria is ripe for al qaeda. is that where the real concern is for you? do you agree with what he says? >> yeah. that's basically right. they can frame it as a, you know, basically a sunni rebel movement against a shiite sort of he retic government which, you know, the assad government would easily fall under that framing and plenty of money of qatar and saudi arabia going to some rebels who sort of legitimate and some more of a jihadist bent and you can't -- they're over 800 sort of opposition military armed movements in syria and hard to discriminate -- >> the u.s. big concern. >> yeah. so, you know, it's in the middle
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of the middle east. we saw during the iraq civil war, attractive for foreign fighters. think i we'll begin seeing not just people from iraq but from other people in the middle east coming in to fight against this -- the government they deem heretic. >> you were there in aspen, colorado. he thought hopefully the iraqi government of prime minister al malaki could contain al qaeda in iraq. are you confident that the regime there can? >> no, i'm not, actually, because, i mean, contain is an interesting term. you know, i mean, maybe manage to some degree but, i mean, you know, this group is clearly having some kind of resurrection and, you know, i don't think the central government of iraq can do much to stop that. the united states is out of there. that surely doesn't hurt al qaeda in iraq. >> yeah. a worrisome situation.
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the u.s. fought for many years, lost a lot of lives in afghanistan, spent at least a trillion dollars if not more and looks to me like that situation -- you're more optimistic about the future of iraq but i'm very worried about when's going on. thank you. >> thank you. >> the author of "manhunt: request the ten-year search for bin laden from 9/11." iranian national and u.s. citizen pleaded guilty in a scheme to sell aircraft and parts to iran in violation of the u.s. trade embargo. prosecutors say it was intended for civilian and not military use. the two men could face up to 40 years in prison and a half million dollar fine when they're sentenced which could be in march, wolf. >> thank you. we have new information, also, about syria's latest moves that could be a step toward chemical weapons attacks. we're going to show you what the syrians are capable of doing and the threat just issued by the president of the united states.
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president obama issued a new warning to syria just a little while ago amid growing fears that the bashar al assad regime may attack rebels and civilians in syria with kchemical weapons. we're told they're mixing chemicals that could be used to make saran. president obama promises there will be consequences. >> and on syria, let me just say this. we'll continue to support legitimate aspirations of the syrian people engaging with the opposition, providing them with the humanitarian aid and working for a transition to a syria that's free of the assad regime and today i want to make it absolutely clear to assad and those under his command, the world is watching. the use of chemical weapons is
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and would be totally unacceptable. and if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable. [ applause ] >> opposition activists say at least 150 people were killed in fighting across syria today. united nations pulled its nonessential staff from the country because security is clearly deteriorating and neighboring turkey asked nato for air defense missis to bolster the air defenses against attacks along its border. nato's expected to approve that request tomorrow. though russian president vladimir putin says the move might make tensions along the border even worse. >> wolf, syria denies they have plans to use chemical weapons
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but oust officials say the intelligence suggests otherwise. tom foreman is looking in to this for us and looking at syria's chemical weapons capable. what are you finding snout. >> they may have one of the largest stockpiles of chemical weapons in the world and spread through production and storage facilities throughout the country there. this is the result, they say, of aggressive development program that started in the 1980s and assisted by the russians and iranians so if you look at these facilities throughout the country right there, this is a cause for concern before, as well. not only at the syrian government might use the weapons but that they could also fuel in to the hands of terrorists. so what exactly are we talking about when we say might be dealing with chemical weapons? first of all, there's mustard gas. this is one of the things they think they might have and commonly used world war i. not a fast acting chemical agent but burns the skin, it burns the
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eyes and it burns the lungs when it is inhaled. it can be fatal but more often this disables an enemy combatant of some sort and can provide respiratory illness, cancer and blindness. beyond that, let's look at the other things they believe they might have out there. sarin gas. that is nerve agent and happens very, very quickly and overwhelming to the person. immediately nerve tremors, unable to control your muscles and general convulsions and fatalities with relatively low doses and a concern they may have vx gas. vx gas is considered by many scientists to be one of the most dangerous chemicals on the planet. it was originally developed as a pesticide and then weaponized. this can be applied in a liquid
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form and even a tiny few drops of it on your skin can immediately be absorbed and produce the same affects of sarin but more so and if inhaled it will absolutely be lethal. these are the big three right now, kate, when you talk about syria and potential for chemical weapons. >> tom, again, even though the syrian government continues to say it would never use the weapons against its own people, there is a very much concern there. how are these chemicals deployed in combat? >> sad truth is quite easily. if they wanted to send a large amount over a long distance, they could turn to things like the scud missiles or other rockets and put them in a warhead and launch them and dropped from airplanes and be loaded in shells and fired in to areas and an important thing to bear in mind, some of these chemicals don't necessarily last a long time but others do. so if they explode over an area or carried by wind over an area,
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spread as liquid, they can poison the ground for days or weeks so people long after that battle is over simply walking by can find themselves poisoned and feeling the effects. kate? >> a horrible threat to a country suffered so much. tom, thank you so much. wolf? huge news from the world's most famous newlyweds. a new royal heir on the way and the duchess is in the hospital with the latest information. live from london. that's coming up. [ female announcer ] research suggests cell health plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day 50+.
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world is abuzz with news of great britain. kate's here with more on the other kate. >> you could call her the other kate. that's a nice comment.
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thank you. prince william and duchess of cambridge expecting a first child but we learned about it because katherine is in the hospital with acute morning sickness. let's get more on this from cnn's royal correspondent max foster who is in london. max, you are right outside the hospital where she has been. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, the police just swapping shift here. a big media and police operation here. duchess of cambridge in the hospital behind me on her own. prince william brought her here. something worrying happened here and drove up to london to the hospital here and going to be in for a few days. acute morning sickness and treated with rehydration. it's treated with nutrients, supplements and trying to get her back on track basically trying to give her as much rest as possible and she's in the hospital and the fact that william left earlier indicates
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they're not overly concerned but she is in here for a few days. if she's got really bad morning sickness and not eating properly and might be the concern and monitoring situation and interesting because they're not planning to announce this and hadn't told prince charles or the queen about this or the prime minister so they were trying to keep it quiet. trying to keep it private. but clearly, this story's out now. >> so difficult to keep anything private in their lives, for sure. regardless of whether this is a bouncing baby boy or little girl what does it mean for the sign of secession? >> reporter: i've lost the sound. >> looks like we lost max foster. we'll get back to him. >> do you want me to give the answer? >> what do you think about this and the line? >> richard quest told me earlier. >> what did he tell you? >> he said they have now entered the 21st century and doesn't make a difference, boy or a girl. whoever that child is will be in
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line after william. >> all right. well, there we have it straight from the substitute royal correspondent. >> charles, william and then the baby. >> said baby. congratulations regardless from us to you. new lessons of the presidential election that just unfolded here in the united states. former top officials of the campaigns talked about what they did right, what they did wrong. very blunt conversations. gloriabe borger was there. stand by. what's that in reindeer power? [ laughing ] [ stops laughing ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. this holiday season, trade up to get the 2012 chevy silverado all-star edition for 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $2,000 cash allowance or get a total value of $9,000. you won't take our future.
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i wish my patients could see what i see. ♪ that over time, having high cholesterol and any of these risk factors can put them at increased risk for plaque buildup in their arteries. so it's even more important to lower their cholesterol, and that's why, when diet and exercise alone aren't enough, i prescribe crestor. in a clinical trial versus lipitor, crestor got more high-risk patients' bad cholesterol to a goal of under 100. [ female announcer ] crestor is not right for everyone. like people with liver disease or women who are nursing, pregnant
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or may become pregnant. tell your doctor about other medicines you're taking. call your doctor right away if you have muscle pain or weakness, feel unusually tired, have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine or yellowing of skin or eyes. these could be signs of rare but serious side effects. ♪ is your cholesterol at goal? talk to your doctor about crestor. [ female announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. republicans out with a new plan to save $2.2 trillion and avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. >> yeah. those across the board spending cuts and to take effect 29 days from now. we are definitely keeping count of the days as they tick down. let's bring in the senior congressional correspondent dana bash with much more on this. dana, the biggest sticks point is the tax rates for the rich. does their plan change anything?
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>> reporter: it doesn't. it's about $2.2 trillion, they say, in savings to the deficit but on that fundamental as you say key sticking point, it doesn't change anything. they simply do not propose to raise any tax rates. let's just look at some specifics on this tax issue. the house gop counter proposal which came out this afternoon does put out 800 billi$800 billw tax renoouf. nothing on bush-era tax rates. those would continue. just look at that compared to the white house offer which last week which was $1.6 trillion in tax revenue. the majority of that from raising tax rates for the wealthiest americans and still absolute biggest divide between the two sides. no question about it. >> and so when you really look at where we are, democrats want tax rates to go up for wealthier americans. republicans long pushing for changes to entitlement programs and what else is in this
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republican proposal then? >> reporter: some of that, as well. look at that. $600 billion in what republicans call health savings. we don't have a lot of specifics on it but republican sources say that much of that will come from medicare savings, things like raising the eligibility age for medicare, means testing, things like that. also $600 billion in overall spending cuts and $200 billion in revising the consumer price index. now, that sounds mind numbingly technical but it's very real world consequences, kate, because it could affect how much people's social security benefits, for example, go up depending on inflation. >> the response and reaction has been swift of capitol hill to the white house, right? >> reporter: absolutely. the white house is not happy with this. as you can imagine. i'll read the statement that they put out in part saying the republican letter released today because this went to the president in the form of a letter the speaker does not meet the test of balance. in fact, it promises to lower
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rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill and goes on to say until the republicans in congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates we won't be able to achieve a significant balanced approach to reduce our deficit our nation needs. i talked with a source here and admitted that this republican proposal does pass the laugh test in that they did decide not to put forward, for example, the ryan budget or something that there's no way any democrat could support so they're giving republicans or at least this one senior source i talked to giving republicans the props on the tactic but not the strategy and what we have to keep in mind here. democrats from the white house, people jessica yellin is talking to, here on capitol hill, are absolutely insisting that the president and democrats here mean it when they say they will not go for anything that includes -- doesn't include
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raising taxes on the wealthy and willing to go off the fiscal cliff at the end of the year if republicans won't give on that fundamental issue and until then they're just not going to be able to come together. >> that's the major hurdle and will continue to be. dana bash on capitol hill for us. as one democratic aide put to me. ready to talk but not willing to bend. >> paraphrase what one of the guests told us, gets worse before it gets worse. >> that's absolutely right, wolf. a month after the presidential election, both campaigns are looking back analyzing what went right, what went wrong while president obama and mitt romney were having lunch at the white house last week, the top campaign officials at harvard university talking about lessons learned. our chief political analyst gloria borger was one of the moderators with ron brownstein. what struck you, someone that covered the campaign. you learned some stuff. >> i did. first of all, wolf, this is the first time a lot of people
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running the campaigns actually met each other face to face. they sat around a big sfar table and had to kind of look at each other and it is so hard on the losing side. you have spent years of your life. there's a picture of the table. you spent years of your life devoted to running a presidential campaign. and if you're the loser, it's really hard. so one of the questions i asked at this panel discussion was about the infamous 47% tape and in which mitt romney said that 47% of the people wouldn't vote for him, that they felt entitled. matt rhodes who ran his campaign answered that question and we only have audio so listen to what he said. >> and i remember speaking to him and, you know, there was a lot of negativity about our campaign as a whole, but he's a person that takes personal responsibility about it. and he would tell me, you know,
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to me, like, you didn't say 47%, matt. stuart didn't say 47%. i did. and obviously, it was not a high moment for our campaign, but i think it speaks a lot to who mitt romney is and i also like to think it speaks a lot to who this campaign team is that we're able to make a run and come back from that. >> and if you remember, the campaign went in to a real trough after that. they had to struggle to get out of it. they had a big meeting and five things we need to do. and they tried to do it. >> we all remember the first debate. >> oh, why. >> the president barely showed up for that first debate. you went in detail. >> of course, we, obviously, asked about that. david axelrod, senior adviser to the president kind of fell on his word about the president's lackluster performance. listen to this. >> what we assumed was that
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these guys having practiced for as long as and as hard as they had, had an answer prepared and we just felt like we were going to lead in to something that might not be productive, so, you know, there were answers that we could have given but they would have been more personal in nature and, you know, that was part of it. i mean, i that was -- if there was a preparation problem it was on that strategic level. >> so it was a strategic decision not to engage on 47% or bain capital or mitt romney's tax returns. he said, you know, don't blame the president. yeah, there are problems. not used to somebody getting in his face like mitt romney did, yeah, we get that but strategically we decided not to engage. >> moving to election day, there we have seen a lot of conversations after the election that there were at least some within mitt romney's campaign that really believed that they were ahead, that they had this
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in the bag and win. >> they believed that they could win. >> right. >> i put it in directly to mitt romney's pollster and i said -- so the question was, did you believe on election day that you were going to win? and listen to what he said. >> i was cautiously optimistic. i was -- here's what we saw in the data that's really interesting and you've got to give credit to the obama campaign for, you know, undercutting it. what we saw throughout the last two weeks of campaign, intensity, a campaign interest advantage and enthusiasm advantage for republicans for mitt romney. we thought that had potential to tilt the partisan makeup of the electorate a couple of points our direction. >> this is the story of the campaign. the romney campaign looking back never believing in its wildest dreams that the obama campaign could build on 2008.
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and turn out african-americans and numbers they did and turn out women in the numbers they had done in 2008. and that the minority vote would increase by two full percentage points. they were not even aware of what the obama campaign had been doing for an entire year while they were fighting the primaries. they were depending on enthusiasm. their internal polls showed up six points in new hampshire on election day. two points in iowa. and on and on and on. they in a way didn't know what hit them. >> and you said earlier the obama campaign was on one level in terms of getting out the vote. >> totally, totally. >> social media, the come rain campaign years behind. >> i think what you will see at the republican national committee is going to be changes over there. they know they really got to catch up when it comes to
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getting out their voters. of course, with the hispanic vote and another issue that came up was, question was was there regret of going to the right of immigration and clear from some quarters of the romney campaign, yes. >> self deportation, not a good phrase. >> they said they never considered taking it back. >> historians will love the seminar. >> and others. there were other panels. >> political news junkies to review. >> it's tlaul. >> okay. >> for history. >> thank you. still ahead, a weekend tragedy shocks professional football and people already are asking questions about the affects of head injury. our dr. sanjay gupta is joining us in just three minutes. time to deploy the boring-potato chip decoy bag. then no one will want to steal the deliciousness. [ male announcer ] with a variety of tastes and textures, only chex mix is a bag of interesting. [ male announcer ] with a variety of tastes and textures, of washington about the future of medicare and social security.
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anncr: but you deserve straight talk about the options on the... table and what they mean for you and your family. ancr: aarp is cutting through all the political spin. because for our 37 million members, only one word counts. get the facts at earnedasay.org. let's keep medicare... and social security strong for generations to come.
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football fans and players, they're all saddened and baffled by a murder-suicide involving a nfl linebacker over the weekend. jovan belcher shot himself in the head outside the practice facility of the team, the kansas city chiefs after killing his girlfriend, the mother of his child. ed lavandera spoke with bel belcher's coach and teammates who are now struggling to find out why this happened. >> reporter: young age, high profile jobs. he is a young father. i mean, did you ever get the sense he was struggling to deal with, you know, pressures? >> we never seen anything. he never gave off a sign like he couldn't handle ig or pressure was too much. he was always happy. >> reporter: did belcher express to you any troubles that he was having in his personal life? >> no major troubles. in his life. everybody has some issues in their personal life. i mean, all of us here have issues in our personal life.
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and everybody handles issues differently. he seemed like a strong-willed individual to me. he's a leader. he was sitting in the front of the classroom. he's a first to the drills. >> some wonder if belcher suffered from brain trauma, a serious problem for nfl player who is are repeatedly hit in the head. we don't know if that's the case right now but there's a new study of brain trauma. let's bring in dr. sanjay gupta, done extensive reporting and researching on this subject. sanjay, what is the study saying specifically, is it more definitive evidence in this study of a link between repeated brain trauma and this brain disease? >> well, you know, definitive is a tough word in science because that establishes a very direct cause and effect relationship. keep in mind, when you look at these for several years now these brains have been studied of players who have died.
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sometimes prematurely. their brains are studied but oftentimes studied because there was a suspicion in the first place and biassed the study a little bit and what researchers are saying. be a little bit cautious interpreting the results and compelling stuff. wolf, as you mentioned, i'm researching this a long time. there's players over the years that we heard about, dave dorson, for example, he had written a letter about this. he served on some of the committees that evaluated head injuries and he himself donated the brain. he committed suicide but left a note saying to donate the brain. john mack i can, the same sort of thing. one of the most compelling things about this study is welcoming at this in stages. instead of saying someone has it or don't, they are creating stage i to stage iv for severity and based on usually how many of the blows to the head you have
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had and how long typically you have been playing football in this case, wolf. >> can we presum sanjay someone in the later stage of the disease is at higher risk of suicide? >> not necessarily. and this makesconfusing, probab research is needed. this might show you what we're talking about specifically. on the left is a normal brain. on the right is the brain of a 21-year-old person with who did commit suicide. you see that dark spot, wolf? that's what we're talking about. that's a deposit of protein. that's similar to someone, for example, with alzheimer's disease and just one spot. early stage of disease. this person did commit suicide. take a look at the next set of images, wolf. you will have a normal brain on the left. you can see probably right away with just even the naked eye how much more disease there is in this brain. a 50-year-old.
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actually the brain of dave dorson and committed suicide. it's a little bit tough to say that the stage absolutely core lates to the outcome n. this case, suicide. that's an area to be researched more, wolf. >> does having a history of head trauma, sanjay, or concussion, automatically mean you're diagnosed with cte? >> of the 35 football players, for example, again, keeping in mind, people who probably had a suspicion of this, and of the 35 players, 34 did have it. of the 85 brains that were studied in total, some include athletes and also military veterans who had had head injuries during the battle, about, you know, about 75 puerto ri rico of them had cte. it is hard to say how likely you are to develop this as an athlete with blows to the head for any different number of reasons but the numbers are becoming increase bring
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compelling. only a small number of brains examined and now dozens and dozens of brins and i asked one of the authors of the study, had she ever seen anything else that could cause this sort of phenomenon in the brain. and she said, no. she thinks this is almost absolutely the result of repeated blows to the head, wolf. >> a tough question for you, sanjay. you researched this issue. a neuro surgeon. if parents say should we let our son in junior high or high school play football? >> you can but there's two very important things. one is that, you know, significant number of blows to the head occur during practices. not just games. drills whether you're banging our head over and over again in to another person or in to an immovable object of some sort. that could, if you reduce that you could reduce the number of blows to the head and the idea of someone with a concussion and
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somehow had a brain injury as a result of football that they be allowed to play only after the brain is completely healed. and there are sophisticated tests and examines to determine that. a player should never go back in unless the brain is completely healed and have to be absolutely the culture of football, wolf. >> sanjay gupta with good advice for parents out there. appreciate it very, very much. >> you got it. >> tough issue. >> again, with jovan belcher, no way to link it to the brain issue but an important issue to talk about, absolutely. it's a picture that went viral and we only knew half the story. now the rest is revealed. new details of the homeless man the police officer and a touching act of kindness.
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people all over the world ha been touched by the photograph of a good deed. >> in the picture of a policeman giving shoes to a homeless man not only went viral, people wanted to know about the man the man was helping. mary, what have you learned? >> well, he lived on the streets until that photograph circulated and it's made its way to a relative who says he was stunned when he realized who was in that f photo. it was a photo that captured interest around the globe. officer lawrence diprimo buying boots for a barefoot homeless man. the officer swarmed by the immedia media, the man went nameless until now. we know him to be jeffrey hillman, age 54. his brother said he was pained to recognize his brother in the
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photo. >> call me, things are fine, things are not fine, so but just seeing him on street, that was a shock. that particular time, no shoes and in the cold, but my brother has been homeless for a while. he's been on the street for many, many years. >> kirk hillman says he last spoke to his brother, jeffrey, about a year ago. he says he served several years in the military, a father of two grown children and is at a loss as to how his brother ended up like this. sunday night, "the new york times" found him on the streets of manhattan, once again, barefoot and without the boots the officer bought him. he told the times, those shoes are hidden. they are worth a lot of money. i could lose my life. >> he's afraid his boots are to get stolen. they're far more likely to be the victims of homeless crime than non homeless people.
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>> he says roughly 47,000 people stay in new york city shelters each night. roughly 20,000 are children. he says it's unknown how many people live on the street, but the majority are living with a serious mental illness. >> i would pray that my brother can hopefully one day be moved in his heart to want to change his life, but you know, that's my desire for him. you can lead a horse to water, but can't make them drink. he says he hopes his brother calls him again. as for jeffrey, he told the times we was very appreciative of what the officer did, but never gave permission of a tourist to take that photograph and says in his own words, he now wants a piece f f the pie. >> quite a story. thank you.
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>> it's great what this police officer did and i applaud this business, but the fact it's such a big deal, it's sort of sad to me. people should be doing these acts of kindness all of the time. shouldn't be a big deal. you see somebody, go help that person. you bring them inside, you do something. the fact that it's become such a big deal is sad to me. >> so it's unusual. >> a police officer helped someone who was homeless and he was freezing to death. >> that needs to happen more and we should cover it more as well. we'll be right back. diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. at chevy's year-end event, we have 11 vehicles that offer an epa-estimated 30 mpg highway or better. yeah? hey. hey. where's your suit? oh, it's casual friday.
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boo boo. with jersey shore. and got the whitest, craziest hill billies. >> around here is whatever happens, happens. >> what happens is fighting, licking, rolling down a hill in a tractor tire. mtv needed a replacement for, but i'm going to sissonville, west virginia doesn't have the same ring to it, better the name the show buck wild. starts january 3rd in a time slot now occupied by jersey shore. it features nine young adults as mtv puts it, a whole new hell raising group of friends for you to fall in love with. jersey shore sand. make way for west virginia mud. west virginians are worried their reputation will be mud.
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>> ridiculous? >> posted one critic, i am so humilia humiliated. as a native where they are film k this train we can, i am devastated my hometown is going to be slandered by this show. never have i ever done any of those things, especially swim in a dump truck. >> y'all want a swimming pool? >> mtv wouldn't comment on the criticism. a west virginia film office twice tried to discourage the sh show's producers by rejecting the question for state tax credits, but the show barrelled on. this show needs subtitles suggested one poster. >> how disrespectful is that? >> sorry. >> it's either a barrel of laughs or the bottom of the barrel.